Trip to Phipps


A trip to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh during its Spring Flower Show provided a brilliant preview to the season when much of the area’s flora is just waking up from its long winter nap.




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The show runs through Sunday, April 16, and features displays of all the spring favorites — tulips, daffodils, hyacinths — and more.

The flowers at the conservatory have the obvious advantage of indoor temperatures and a glass roof.

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In addition to be being well-tended, the flowers must be fed some kind of miraculous fertilizer. Whatever this growth catalyst is, it has helped the conservatory’s snapdragons on steroids grow to 2 to 3 feet tall. This gardener has only ever coaxed them to a whopping foot high.

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The hyacinths were full and their scent filled the pathways. The daffodils and narcissus also seemed a little larger than usual.

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While the multiple flower displays were a delight to the eye, one can’t help but marvel at the detail of each individual bloom.

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Closeups reveal dazzling designs created by nature.

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It seems like the color coral or salmon is in season this spring with several narcissus, daffodils and hyacinths displaying the pinkish hue.



Orchids of just about every size, shape and color fill the conservatory’s orchid room.


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Carefully cultivated complimentary colors created bursts of color nearly everywhere visitors walk.


The barrel cacti sported so many spikes that they almost appeared fuzzy … but don’t touch. And the succulents in the dessert room proved that you don’t always need the ideal conditions to look pretty.

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If you’re looking for plant names or descriptions, this photographer was too busy enjoying the colorful display … for those you’ll have to make the trip to Pittsburgh.

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More information about the conservatory may be found online at


A Walk in the Woods contains photos from newsroom staffer Anna Applegate’s daily jaunts around her neck of the woods. Except for this week when she took a little detour to Pittsburgh (by bus, not on foot) Applegate manages the Good Times and can be emailed at